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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Birthstones: Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite

Elizabeth Necklace

From one of the humblest of life forms, the mollusk, comes the pearl. Ancient civilizations had many stories to explain the origin of June's birthstone, such as the Greek belief that pearls were the hardened tears of joy that the goddess of love shook from her eyes as she was born from the sea. According to Arab legend, pearls were formed when oysters were lured from the depths of the ocean by the beautiful moon and then swallowed moonlit dewdrops. And the Ancient Chinese thought that these gems originated from the brains of dragons.


The scientific explanation for natural pearls is almost as mystifying as folklore. When an irritant, such as a small parasite or a fish lodges in the flesh of an oyster, mussel, or clam, a protective substance called "nacre" is produced. Over years, layer upon layer of shimmering nacre coats the intruder, creating a lustrous pearl. Natural pearls are relatively rare, so a process evolved in which a piece of shell or bead was placed inside a mollusk to stimulate the production of nacre. This results in a cultured pearl, which accounts for about 90 per cent of the pearl industry. Pearls are unique as they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty.

Pirouette Bracelet


June has two alternate birthstones. The first is Moonstone, a type of feldspar named because of its uncanny resemblance to the iridescent sheen of the moon. A phenomenal gemstone, moonstones show a floating play of light called adularescence. Varying in color from clear to blue-white or peach, it was considered by ancient civilizations to be a sacred stone, bestowing the wearer with great spiritual understanding. Some believed that the Moonstone could even make a person invisible! Mined in Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, Madagascar, and the United States, a gift of this stone is symbolic of health and longevity.


Rainbow Moonstone Earrings


Dreamland Bracelet


Moonlit Walk Necklace

Moonlit Walk Earrings


The second alternate birthstone for June is the Alexandrite. Its color is a lovely green in both daylight and fluorescent light; it changes color to a purplish red in incandescent light. Because of this quality, it has been characterized by poets as "an emerald by day, a ruby by night." Alexandrite was first discovered in Urals in 1830 but is mined today primarily in Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Burma, Madagascar and Tanzania. It is a rare and expensive gemstone, symbolic of joy and good fortune.

2 comments:

fernvalley01 said...

Those are gorgeous ! I so love your work.Still get compliments on my bracelet

storybeader said...

beautiful jewelry! thanks for the explanations!

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